To establish an endowment for early literacy programs, the organization hopes to raise the money by Dec. 31, 2016
The Library Foundation of Sarasota County has launched a new fundraising campaign aimed at getting books into as many children’s hands as possible, it has announced.
To do that, it hopes to meet its goal of raising $500,000 by Dec. 31, 2016, a news release says.
Through its Imagination Library Program, the Library Foundation provides about 500 children every year with a new book each month, starting with infants as young as 1 month old, the news release points out. “Books are mailed monthly to children up to the age of 5,” it adds.
Funding to maintain this service runs only through 2017, the release continues. The Library Foundation is seeking donations to establish an endowment to sustain the program for future generations. It costs $25 on an annual basis for one child to receive 12 books a year, the release points out. Research from the National Council for Family Literacy shows an increase in literacy levels when there is an availability of reading materials in the home, the release notes.
“[We’re] hoping that they’ll read at home and that their parents are reading to them,” said Linda Getzen, president of the Library Foundation of Sarasota County, in the release.
Imagination Library has shipped more than 100,000 books to 3,500 children in the county, the release continues. Children qualify for the program based on whether their ZIP code has been determined to be that of an area “with a high need,” or they qualify through enrollment in Children First, the Early Learning Coalition, the Sarasota County Schools, and participating daycare facilities and preschools, the release adds.
The first book they receive is The Little Engine That Could, the release says. The final title delivered to them is Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come.
“There is so much excitement when the book comes to the child in the mailbox,” said Claudia Cardillo, campaign chairwoman, in the release. “It has their name on it, too.”
For $125, a donor can support one child for the full five years of the program, which will help the child build a library of 60 books by the time he or she turns 5, the release adds.
For more information, visit sarasotalibraryfoundation.org.